What would you change about U.S. immigration laws?

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has drafted a set of principles to rewrite the country’s immigration laws. The legislation would cover border security, guest workers and employer verification, and a path to citizenship for the 11 million people already in the country illegally. Today’s Question: What would you change about U.S. immigration laws?

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    I’d establish a path to citizenship for most of the illegals already here, severely penalize any employer who hires undocumented aliens in the future, and reduce the immigration quotas to no more than 100,000, well-educated people per year.

    With a population topping 315 million, the days of immigration should be about over for this country. There is NO good reason to swell the population anymore, unless you want your kids and grandkids to do with less and less. More people equals less freedom.

    • Steve the Cynic

      On the contrary, there are very good reasons to swell the population more. As boomers retire, there wll be a growing labor shortage in the next generation; more working age people means more people paying into Social Security, which will make it more solvent; and the empirical evidence shows that immigration is good for the economy.

      • GregX

        true – and the labor shortage is in 3 general area’s (1) manual labor not replaced by technology and (2) high-skill labor requiring HS degree + 2 year trade school or Community college cert. (3) Very high (Masters or PhD ) leadership knowledge.

        Douglas Adams would love the idea that Middle management is finally being decimated naturally.

  • Hillary

    What difference does it make?

  • Andrew

    People like to whine about the structural deficit in Social Security and Medicare and many of those people are the same ones who staunchly oppose immigration. It seems stunningly hypocritical considering that the structural deficit in these programs is posited on the idea that soon more people will be receiving payments from these programs than paying into them, in other words, it’s a demographic problem (too many people getting old, not enough working-age people paying in). But there are plenty of working-age people who WANT to be in this country and would certainly be willing to pay into SS and Medicare if it could only be allowed. So I would propose we drop the barriers to immigration, diversify the demographic composition of this country, broaden the tax base, and wipe “structural deficit” out of the national discourse.

  • Pickaname@yahoo.com

    I think we need to open the door wider for LEGAL immigration and slam the door on ILLEGAL immigration. We are a nation of immigrants. My ancestors came to this country (legally) in the 1860s, assimilated into a community of other immigrants from the same country, taught their children personal responsibility and self-reliance, sent them to schools where they learned English, but they still spoke the old language in their home.
    I’d have a hard time endorsing citizenship for someone whose first act on American soil was breaking the law about getting here. BUT, I would be able to get behind a proposition to grant permanent resident status to those who’ve been here a long time, have no criminal history, have proven they can provide for themselves and their family.

  • jockamo

    We need to severely restrict legal immigration to a small number of the highest quality candidates available, and shut down illegal immigration altogether. Even Senator Barack Hussein Obama realized this when he voted to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build a wall to keep illegals out.

    Why would we build factories here in this country, and then bring in more immigrants to work in them, with all their attending problems and expenses for the State, when we have the option of building the factory where they already live, thereby keeping the problems there, instead of importing them here? Doesn’t make economic sense.
    And, making economic sense WILL happen. No one can stop it. In keeping with Jockamo’s Second Law of Economics, which states, “Whatever is necessary for the continued optimal growth of Capitalism, will happen.”
    Social Security, etc., and the government in general, will be solvent in direct relation to how effectively it reduces the absurd, wasteful spending the Democrats have shamefully brought us to (although that spending is also in compliance with the Second Law), not by increasing immigration. Relying on immigration is so………….19th Century. It’s time is long past. We must realize it, and move into the 21st Century reality.

  • GregX

    (1) Immediately increase the H1-Visa permits for Masters and PhD recipients in all fields by a factor of 20. We need to quit training people here and then forcing them to leave and compete with us.
    (2) Find a way to legalize the non-citizens that are here – many are part of our existing economic work-force. Surfacing them as part of the accountable population is critical to stablizing our workforce for the next 20 years. the “fairness ” issue is a never ending argument .

  • Wally

    Simplify the paperwork for immigrants with skills we need. Make it easier for workers to enter the country. Make it harder for non-workers to enter. Kick out the moochers. No more retroactive programs to make illegal immigrants legal, like Obomba’s “Dream” act.

  • Scott

    Simple, eliminate the global prohibition of cannabis/hemp and utilize the increased workforce to show there really isn’t any lack in our world (except in conscience it seems).

    • Wally

      Are you serious? You weed brains have the same solution to everything. Global warming? Grow more hemp. Famine? Grow more hemp. Plague? Grow more hemp. War? Grow more hemp. [Well, they did do that in WWII because the fiber was needed for the war effort. Than afterwards, “good hemp” was decreed “evil hemp” overnight.] But Puh-LEAZE! Does every discussion have to turn this way?

  • Jim G

    I want the same principles that allowed my Great-Grandparents to come to this country from Europe to be followed but this time for every immigrant, no matter their country of origin.

    • georges

      Jim…..the true regressive….

      In other backward thinking, he wants to:

      Drive a Model T Ford….if it was good enough for Grandpaw, then, by God, it’s good enough for me.

      Talk to other people by ringing-up on the 100 pound oak thingy hanging on the kitchen wall.

      Walk about 10 times a day to the little house out back, the one with the cresent moon cut into the door.

      Eat lutefisk frequently. It was good enough for Great Grandpaw, cuz he didn’t have a freezer, and now it’s good enough for me, cuz I like to be severely limited, like my Great Grandpaw.

      Worship the ground priests walk on, because grandmaw knew they were perfect, and that’s good enough for me.

      • Jim G

        Grandpa drove a Model A, new! Nice ride if you can find one today. 😉

        • georges

          There are lots of Model A’s for sale, restored to better than new, for about the same cost as a decent modern car.
          I bet you don’t have one for your daily driver.

  • Mike X

    I would require that all immigrants over 18 years old be literate in a
    language, any language. And that includes refugees! I would also stop
    putting refugees at the front of the line, take your turn like everyone
    else, You are not special!

  • Sue de Nim

    When Europeans first came to these shores, they didn’t ask permission, because they didn’t care if the native peoples objected to their immigration. What right do we have to be indignant about others who want to come here?

    • georges

      When Europeans first came here, there was no homogeneous society, no government, no one in charge of the vast land to ask anything of. Just some unrooted tribes, who welcomed us, as they could immediately see that we had a better life than they did….better tools……better weapons and clothes, better God……in short, better everything…..and they wanted some of that.
      And, we are not indignant that others want to come here. We expect that, as we are the best.
      But, when you are the best, you know that you cannot remain the best if you dilute yourself too much.
      Such is the reality of life.

      • Sue de Nim

        Talk about revisionist history!

  • Samuel

    I’d promote legal immigration, especially for those who are already in the US and have a degree. These folks should be able to get quick ‘green card’ when they graduate from US colleges and universities. Government should provide ‘Diversity Visas’ to ones those are already here and are paying taxes.

    • yournamehere@yahoo.com

      Those already in the US would have a hard time legally immigrating when they’ve already immigrated…

      • Roy Wehking

        Good point. I worked with people from Africa. They thought to learn Spanish would be wise, but did not agree with Illegal immigration when they went thru the process of coming her legally.

  • James

    First and foremost, discuss and document an immigration “mission and purpose” to assess future (annual) immigration decisions against. For instance:
    – Do we or don’t we want to be a place for refugees to find refuge? And if so, in what quantity and for how long? Until hostilities have died down or forever?
    – Should relatives of legal residents have priority over “new” legal immigrants? Why? Why not?
    – Do we want the world’s best and brightest to move here? In what fields? In what numbers?
    – What worker shortages do we want to address through immigration? Do we want to address those shortages through temporary or permanent immigration?
    – What is a reasonable number of new permanent residents per year? 100,000? 500,000? A million?
    – What is and ideal immigrant, and does the scoring system reflect that ideal? What is the scoring system?
    – Are we willing to put illegal immigrants and their children on an immigration track or not? If yes, what are the steps and what is the pace? If no, then what is the plan to clean up the mess?
    If we get the big picture right, the details each year are not so tough.

  • Roy Wehking

    Come here legally like the rest of us did.